The Practical Life area of the Montessori environment has some basic goals. The activities found in this area of the classroom, provide real life experiences for children. The exercises in Practical Life provide purposeful activity, develop motor control and coordination, develop independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. Both large and small muscle coordination and development are involved, helping a child to have control over his movements.
The Practical Life exercises are organised int three main areas: care of the person, care of the environment, and grace and courtesy. The dressing frames introduce such skills as buttoning, zipping, snapping, and tying. Other activities such as hand washing, baby doll washing, and manicuring nails are also considered caring for the person. Under the area of, caring for the environment, exercise such as pouring, spooning, sweeping, cloth folding, dish washing, and taking care of animals and plants.
We regularly change the activities available on the shelves to keep the area interesting and new. Young children spend most of their time in Practical Life area, but older children are still drawn to these exercises. We change some of the activities to enhance our topic study and upcoming celebrations.